Heads roll over Telecom NZ XT woes

Telecom NZ's chief technology officer Frank Mount today resigned following the telco's ongoing mobile network outages.

Telecom NZ's chief technology officer Frank Mount today resigned following the telco's ongoing mobile network outages.

The resignation was accepted by chief Dr Paul Reynolds this morning, according to a statement issued to the Australian Stock Exchange today.

"In the interests of our customers, our team and New Zealand, I have regretfully accepted Frank's resignation," said Reynolds.

Mount had joined Telecom NZ in 2008. His resignation followed yesterday's resignation of Steve Lowe, the NZ boss of Telecom's primary supplier for its XT network, French networking giant, Alcatel-Lucent.

Telecom NZ has suffered several outages to its XT network over the past few months. The company blamed "traffic surges" late last week for triggering equipment failures which wiped out coverage to regions south of Taupo, located in central North Island.

Reynolds has today outlined a loyalty campaign to stem the flight of customers that may result from its mobile network woes. The company had already promised compensation to customers earlier this month.

New Zealand customers south of Taupo that stay with the telco will now receive three months worth of credits valued at 33 per cent of their monthly plan. For example, customers on its $49.95 per month plan will receive $33 bills for the coming three months.

Prepaid customers will get a 33 per cent bonus every time they top up during the next three months.

Small business customers and Gen-i enterprise customers will get 50 per cent loyalty credits for the next three months.

Reynolds has attempted to allay concerns over the telco's mobile network, telling press today that Alcatel-Lucent chief Ben Verwaayen had promised to provide "full global resources" to Telecom NZ to resolve the issues.

"For too many of our customers, we have not lived up to the promises we made about XT when the network was launched," Reynolds said. "So that's why we are taking action on a broad range of fronts, covering the operation and management of the network, and customer offers."

To replace the void left by Mount, Telecom NZ has assigned its current chief information officer David Havercroft to oversee its network and IT operations, while the telco's chief financial officer has assumed responsibility for its shared services operations and technology strategy. "With these measures in place, and with the offers we have made to customers affected by the outages, Telecom is now working day and night to restore customers' faith in XT," said Reynolds.